1. What is the Technology Village Business Accelerator?
The Technology Village Business Accelerator provides services and a professional office environment to support and accelerate the development of emerging technology and professional service businesses. The objective is for program participants to grow their start-up business within the accelerator and establish a permanent business presence in Prior Lake.
2. How would the program benefit my start-up business?
Businesses that choose to start-up in an accelerator program provide themselves with an advantage over businesses who start-up on their own. Program benefits include keeping costs manageable while your business is growing and free advisory support and assistance from a Technology Village Advisor and the ability to network and share ideas with other companies in a similar position.
3. What services are provided?
Technology Village provides program participants with an affordable and customized lease, furnished offices, development assistance, and guidance from experienced business professionals, shared conference rooms and office equipment, education programs and networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs and community organizations.
4. Is my start-up business eligible for the Business Accelerator?
While the Technology Village program was established to assist primarily emerging technology and professional service businesses, all applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply.
5. Do I have to give up equity in my business to participate in the Technology Village program?
6. How do I apply?
Application materials can be found on the Apply page. For additional information related to the application process, please contact Dan Rogness at email@example.com or (952) 447-9813.
7. What kind of internet access is available?
Participant companies located in the City Hall office space have access to a shared, high-speed internet connection. There is also a convenience wireless network within the designated Technology Village City Hall office space. Participants located outside of the City Hall space are responsible for securing their own internet connection; however, Integra Telecom is a program partner with special pricing for Technology Village participants.
8. How much are lease rates and what is included in the lease rate?
Program participants pay an escalating rent payment over the lease term and the payment received is used to subsidize Technology Village program operations. A market lease rate of $15 per square foot has been established for the hard walled office area. A participant business is only required to pay $5 per square foot for the first year, $10 per square foot for the second year, followed by $15 per square foot during the third year of the lease term.
In addition to the annual lease savings, the Technology Village Board has established an estimated value of $18.19 per square foot for program costs paid for or provided by the City of Prior Lake. These services, which are provided at no cost to program participants and are detailed in each lease agreement include; program management, city staff time, office equipment, furnishings, property insurance, janitorial service, grounds maintenance, snow removal, common area building maintenance, equipment maintenance, trash removal and payment of utilities including gas, electric, sewer and water.
These no cost services and below market lease rate savings are considered the City of Prior Lake’s “equity investment” in the participant’s business. The lease agreement requires the equity investment to be repaid to the City of Prior Lake should the business relocate to another community prior to or upon graduation. If the business remains in Prior Lake, or Scott County at the EDA’s discretion, for a term of five years after graduation the city’s equity investment will be forgiven.
9. How long is the lease term?
The standard lease agreement is for three years; however, a program participant is eligible to relocate their business to any Prior Lake location at any time during the lease term with no penalty. Additionally, if the program participant business ceases operation during the term of the lease the lease agreement may be terminated without penalty.
10. Is the Technology Village Business Accelerator program available to only Prior Lake residents?
No. Anyone who is interested in growing and maintaining their business in Prior Lake is welcome.
11. What if my company doesn’t need office space but would like to take advantage of the services?
Companies that already have their own home office or commercial space, but still want to utilize our services, can apply to the ‘Virtual’ Accelerator Program. Virtual participants pay a monthly services fee and have access to everything the program has to offer.
12. What is the Virtual Accelerator Program?
The Virtual program allows the same services to be provided to program participants that are not located within the accelerator office space. These services include, but are not limited to, advisory support, access to common work areas and a mailing address.
13. How long can I remain in the accelerator?
The goal of the Technology Village program is to support participant companies in a way that will enable them to graduate from the accelerator in three (3) years or less. Participants typically begin with a standard, three-year lease; however, participants may graduate and leave the program prior to the lease expiration with no penalty.
14. What is expected of accelerator participants?
Board of Director Advisors work with participants to develop milestones that are agreeable to both parties. These milestones may include benchmarks for product development, funding, or customer acquisition. The advisor will conduct a quarterly reviews of a participant’s progress toward these milestones.
Participants are expected to show progressive growth in business development and must adhere to the terms of the lease.
15. Do I need a business plan?
A business plan is not required to qualify for admittance into the accelerator program; however, a business plan should be developed within the first year.
16. What are some of the current start-ups involved the Technology Village program?
A list of the current Technology Village participants, including brief descriptions and website links, can be found on the Program Participants page.
17. What is Graduation?
Graduation is when a participant company has matured to the point that they do not need accelerator assistance regularly and are ready to have their own facilities. Usually the participant has reached a level of financial stability and employee growth that enables them to be fully functional on their own.
18. Where is the Technology Village Business Accelerator located?
The Technology Village Business Accelerator has offices within Prior Lake City Hall at 4646 Dakota Street SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372. The Technology Village program also works with participant businesses who have private office space within the City of Prior Lake.
19. How can I find out more information?
If you are interested in learning more about the Technology Village Business Accelerator please contact Dan Rogness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (952) 447-9813.